Tekst jest traktowany jako integralna całość, można go cytować, ale zgodnie z prawem z podaniem źródła, tzn. autora książki i jej tytułu, osoby udzielające wywiadu, no i tłumacza amatora:). Tłumaczenie jest moje (z pomocą Google Translate), dlatego jest pewnie w nim dużo błędów:), pro publico bono, całkowicie bez wynagrodzenia.
Blackmailers were punished with death
with prof. Witold Kieżun
Jewish organizations are demanding that Poland pay $ 65 billion in compensation for private property of Polish Jews who died in the Holocaust. In order to force Poland to submit in this matter in 1996 during a meeting of the World Jewish Congress in Buenos Aires, Israel Singer threatened Poland by saying: "If Poland doesn’t satisfy Jewish demands, it will be publicly attacked and humiliated on the international forum". Founder and chairman of World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants, general counselor of the World Jewish Congress, Menachem Z. Rosensaft called for an economic boycott of Poland in 2011. You once said that you had to bargain with the Jews and pay them, as the Germans did. Should we bend over and accept unjustified claims of Jewish organizations that can’t be recognized in accordance with Polish law, and also with international law as the heirs of Polish Jews?
In my book titled Pathology of Transformation, I presented this matter as very debatable. There is no doubt that the whole range of houses and shops was taken over by Poles after the deportation of Jews.
From the formal and legal point of view, the matter is, however, unambiguous. If there is no proven heir, then the good is taken over by the state. If it is proven that someone is the heir, then of course he will get the estate from the testator. There are a lot of houses that are currently returned. In Krakow, the entire street was returned. In Warsaw, things are similar. The process of recovering property by Jews proceeds. However, the point of view of Jewish circles is completely different from the law in force in Poland. If, however, take into account their compensation based on some moral issues, it seems natural that similar compensation should also be obtained by Poles. The moral question is wider and doesn’t only close to Jews. If the Jews deserve something, Poles also belong in a similar situation. This is an ambiguous problem that should be treated as a whole, including compensation for Poland, which we have never received. So this is the problem of some unity. As for the compensation for Poles, at every step we encounter problems in applying for our property, and summa summarum, after all, millions of Poles died during the WW2. We incurred terrible losses. The Poles, who were killed in the German extermination activities, often left descendants who didn’t have the opportunity to inherit from their family members, because the Germans took over their apartments and took everything from them. As a result of war activities, beautiful and valuable Polish apartments and tenements have also been destroyed. My mother, for example, had a wonderful, large flat in Żoliborz, which, along with the rich furnishings, had the value of pre-war 120,000 dollars. The dollar then cost 5 zlotys. This apartment was a great achievement of our whole family. Kieżunowie was so-called rural gentry, farmstead. They occupied the whole village, but worked normally as peasants. The only difference is that women worked in gloves because everyone felt like noblemen. (laugh)
Grandfather was the adjutant, the commander of the January Uprising in Lithuania, Jakub Gieysztor. After 20 years he returned from exile to Siberia, as a hero. He was invited to a rich home and one of the daughters of a landowner fell in love with him. This is how the poor January peasant insurgent became a wealthy landowner. It was a combination of a poor family and a rich family. So it was a certain dissonance in the family. My mother also came from a very wealthy family with a huge estate of 15,000. hectares. However, he was on the eastern ground. In addition to the land, we also lost gold coins and diamonds that were hidden under the wooden stairs to the attic of the house where my family lived. We never got any compensation for it. In the Vilnius region itself, there was a mass of Polish estates, which were nationalized and on which the Sovkhoz were established.
My grandfather from father's side was the owner of the Pikieliszki estate near Vilnius, which was later donated to Józef Piłsudski. Pilsudski as soon as he got the local court with beautiful equipment, he said he would like to thank warmly, but he doesn’t want to. So there was a problem, what to do with it and finally our father got it. Our flat was therefore one big and beautiful museum. Hundreds of paintings of sixteenth-century Dutch painters hung on the walls. Everyone who came in was delighted. Our apartment has survived until the Warsaw Uprising, when all of it flew into the air. We lost absolutely everything at the time. Apart from the paintings and furniture themselves, today the flat itself would cost at least one and a half million zlotys.
We were first terribly destroyed by the German occupation. Then our economy was devastated as a result of the invasion of the Soviet Army. For a few months after the surrender of Warsaw, every day German trucks and horse carts came to the capital from the individual German poviats, to whom unspent items were still allocated. Everything that could be stolen was stolen, so furniture, paintings, etc. When there was no more looting, the Germans blew the houses up. After the Uprising, the southern part of the city center was destroyed only by 20 percent. There were, of course, some destruction, but the walls of the houses stood. The Germans blown it all up.
After the war I came to a Soviet camp, and later I was transported by train from Moscow to the camp in Złotów in Western Poland. On the way, I had the opportunity to observe the huge scale of the robbery that the Soviets did. Starting from the cattle to be driven, and ending on entire trains filled to the brim with machinery and equipment removed from factories. The Red Army robbed us mercilessly. It was all perfectly organized, and practically speaking, we didn’t get any compensation from Germany or Russia. We didn’t demand anything from Russia, because in the 90s we were happy at all that the Red Army was finally leaving Poland. It should be remembered that we were to get from the USSR - whose legal heir is Russia today - 15 percent compensation received from the Soviet Union from Germany. Of course, we didn’t get anything. If, therefore, to give their property to Jews, then a general rule would have to be adopted. So this is part of a bigger problem and should be treated much more widely. Anyway, on the Polish side, many heirs would find themselves, which can no longer be said in the case of the Jewish side. Who would actually take over Jewish property or compensation for it and on what legal basis?
When it comes to claiming compensation for the Jewish population, they are primarily related to the world's historical awareness, and perhaps more to its lack. The starting point is the deceptive concept spread across the world that Poles murdered Jews. Not so long ago, the FBI chief talked about the cooperation of Poles and Hungarians in murdering Jews. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, posthumously awarded Jan Karski the "Presidential Medal of Freedom" award, and in the presence of former Polish minister of foreign affairs, Adam Rotfeld, used the phrase "Polish death camps". It touched me personally. We kept the Jewish woman, a friend of my mother, who in December 1939 fled from Łódź and lived in Warsaw for many months. I even got her a German Kennkarte and baptism at priest Franciszek Barański from the parish on Długa Street. Then, just in case, she learned to pray. My mother also dyed her hair and after they were oxidized, she didn’t look like a Jewess anymore, but a Polish woman with dark blond hair. Later, the situation changed so much that my family escaped from the part of Poland occupied by the Soviet Union, crossing - for a high fee for the guide - illegally the border. At some point, sixteen people lived in our apartment. We've all slept on the floor. This Jewish mum's friend, whom we called my aunt, brought with her from Łódź gold rubles for which she could rent a flat in Warsaw. Soon, she moved to her flat, where she lived quietly until February 1944. Then she came crying to me, begging me to call my mother quickly. Aunt in tears in her voice told my mother that this was the end, because in the night the Gestapo arrested a Jewish family hiding in a neighboring house. Probably there was a spy or blackmailer who reported on them. Perhaps he was a caretaker. Auntie was in a state of mental disorder and to calm her down for a few nights my mother stayed with her. At that time, we established a rule that if she was left alone at home, she wouldn’t let anyone in, apart from us. To let her know that we are the ones who call her, we came up with a special bell sound code.
It was a fragment of Beethoven's V Symphony:" ta, ta, ta, tam". After this event and the arrangements made, she was calmer now and didn’t let anyone in. In the huge block in which she lived, her life didn’t look just like abandoned Unfortunately, during the Uprising, the area where the block was located was attacked by the Germans, who killed all people in three houses at Gdańska 2, 4, 6, all of whom, including he. The other person whom my family helped was Dr. Nathanson, a convered Jew. His grandmother was Catholic, so he formally functioned very well in Polish society, but in January 1944 he received a warning that someone from the German police was looking for him. Friends of his children were friends with me, so he stayed with us for a few days. Then it turned out that our neighbor, whose husband died, maybe take he in. In our apartment there was such a crowd that it was the best solution. Meals, however, he still ate with us. In February 1944, however, communications staff of the battalion of the Baszta got busted and we were ordered to flee with our families from where they lived. I received a false ID and moved to a new flat, and my mother moved to her sister. It was a waiting period because an archive was found with nicknames, initials, surnames and dates of birth. The Gestapo was looking for us in the town hall. They arrested three of my colleagues, I was ordered to go to a special ward. My uncle, lawyer, helped Dr. Nathanson find a flat on Słowacki St. He was very grateful to us for help. I remember when someone once said to my mother that although my aunt died, Dr. Nathanson survived, so he can issue a certificate to help her in Yad Vashem for receiving the Medal of the Righteous Among Nations. My mother replied that if she did something like that, she would be ashamed to look in the mirror later, because the help she showed these people was something so normal that she didn’t agree to seek a distinction now. I knew five Jews in Żoliborz stored by Poles. Most of them was hidden in the Warsaw Housing Cooperative, which had socialist traditions. Once I was at some kind of social meeting at Wojnar and suddenly a certain unknown man came in and greeted me. So I asked Wojnara who it is. He replied with a smile that he was a hided Jew. (laughs) I am saying this to show how it was natural for many Poles to save Jews. Practically speaking - there is no doubt - that the Poles were hiding in Warsaw tens of thousands of Jews.
From my observation, the attitude of the environment in which I turned - and this was typically an intellectual youth environment - was aimed at helping Jews. We, after all, supplied them with a weapon they fought in the ghetto. They had it from Poles. During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the church dedicated to Saint Stanislaus Kostka in Żoliborz was honored with a solemn devotion for brothers fighting in the ghetto. Of course, the vast majority of Poles have retained a passive attitude. It must be remembered, however, that for helping Jews was criminal liability, that is, murdering not only the person who helped, but also his whole family. People in the countryside who were aware that they couldn’t only die by themselves, but that the whole village could also die, were even more cautious and even hostile and didn’t want to keep Jews. These are very complicated stories as you can see.
You once wanted to sue the creators of the Holocaust series, which depicted Polish soldiers as collaborators who killed Jews during the Ghetto Uprising together with the Germans. However, you didn’t find support in Poland at that time. Why?
I didn’t get any support, because there was no willingness on the part of those who were in power at that time. However, this isn’t an isolated example. We have tried to fight against the falsification of history in other matters. Twelve of us appealed to the Polish prosecutor's office against the use of "Polish concentration camps" by the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". The Polish prosecutor, however, replied that "he doesn’t see the will to offend, and this term is probably geographic." This was the answer of the Polish prosecutor!
I had the satisfaction of showing Lech Kaczyński - then the President of Warsaw - the internet program "Warsaw Uprising 1944" - "Warsaw Uprising 1944" developed by my son based on my notes, among others, we wanted to put it on the Internet and we went to the President Lech Kaczyński, he got interested in it a lot, then we went to him a couple of times, I remember when my son came to Poland from the United States with his computer and showed Lech Kaczyński photographs of a textbook for the Holocaust, an object taught in American schools. In one of the pictures, there was a likeness of Hans Frank, bearing the signature: “General Governor of Poland during the war, General Governor living in Krakow Hans Frank”. Unfortunately, these aren’t isolated cases. I read recently that one of the Canadian books used the phrase Polish SS..
In 1999, in Canada, in two classes of about 120 people together, I made a probe, in which I asked about what nationality the Nazis were. For 120 people, up to 70 people wrote that the Nazis were Poles. I asked them then why they think so. They told me that the Nazis built concentration camps in which they murdered Jews, and these were in the end Polish concentration camps. Hence the statement that the Nazis were Poles. Such opinions are due, among other things, to the fact that Germany in cooperation with some Jewish communities financed the creation of the myth of Polish concentration camps, according to which they were created not by Germans but by people who included Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians etc. Putting everyone into one the bag with the inscription the Nazis is particularly severe for the Poles. While it is possible to include Ukrainians in the area of the word, in addition to the Germans, Poles can’t be. Half of the Pawiak guards and the entire Gestapo prison in Krakow consisted of Ukrainians. The Germans made an SS unit from the Ukrainians. A large part of the people who murdered 50,000 Poles in Warsaw were just Ukrainians. During the Warsaw Uprising, we captured twelve Kalmuks, as it was said at the time. It turned out, however, that they are Ukrainians. We drove them to the trenches and told them to work. On our back we painted a capital letter "U". They were the worst and nastiest types.
The cruelty of the Banderites was indescribable, even the Germans were more humane. the German shot and men died after two minutes, while the Ukrainian cut off his fingers, ears, picked out his eyes. They buried the people, leaving only their heads on top. Tearing their bellies to pregnant women. OUN killed the Volhynian Voivode and Minister Bronisław Pieracki before the war. Today, however, nothing is said or written about Ukrainians, because Ukraine, which would belong to NATO, would mean a major military weakness for Russia. We would have secured the entire southern flank. The eastern district of Ukraine, which was never Ukrainian before, is economically strong and is a tasty morsel for everyone. There is no mention today of the cruelty of the Banderites also because we now have a whole bunch of Ukrainians in Poland and a whole range of the Polish elite have Ukrainian domestic help. Coming back to making Nazis from Poles, the saddest thing is that on the Jewish side there is no strong response to claims that German concentration camps are Polish. The Museum of the Holocaust in Washington has some anti-Polish elements. Of course there is no doubt that there were also such nationalists who on the street when they saw someone similar to the Jew, followed him and then blackmailed him. We had one such colleague, an acute nationalist. Later, it turned out that he was of German origin. He was even seen in the uniform of one of the German formations. However, these were isolated cases. In addition, such people would often be liquidated by the Polish Underground State. I took part in Otwock myself in carrying out the death sentence on the Pole, who cooperated with the German police. He was sentenced to death by an underground Polish court. Because he lived in Otwock, our team had to take him out of town to one of the villages, where it was possible to calmly execute the sentence on him.
Apparently, eight Jews served in your battalion. How were they treated?
Not everyone knew they were Jewish. But those who knew about it didn’t see any difference in it. She was with us, among others Nathansonówna, who on August 1, 1944, at nine o'clock in the morning, when we had a collection at Chmielna Street, brought us the order to start the Uprising. She exclaimed and shouted: "Hour “W" the seventeenth." Hiding from the Germans she had to change her name twice, even though she was taken prisoner by the Germans, but she survived.
It is very symbolic that the Polish Jewess was the person who gave your battalion the order to start the Warsaw Uprising.
This was the whole idea of the "The Polish-Jewish Heritage" organization operating in Canada, of which I was one of the initiators of the uprising. I was even supposed to be the president of this association, to create an agreement between these Poles and these Jews. We wanted to rebuild all the elements of the common Polish-Jewish tradition, because the mutual cultural influence was always very strong. The Polish-Jewish Heritage was a wise concept and a beautiful idea. We organized a whole series of meetings and discussions. We also had a good deal and a friendly diplomatic representation, our association gathered many wonderful Jews, my friend Librowicz always fought for the spelling of his name, because they were constantly written by Librowitz. He kept repeating that isn’t "tz" but ”cz". He also said he was from Poland and a Polish Jew. An extremely patriotic man. He received from President Bronisław Komorowski a merit for organizing the first seminar at the WSH with the participation of professors from Canada. I was also friends with Professor Jerzy Langrod. He was a great Polish patriot. He chaired the Society of Berek Joselewicz. He organized a public reading in Paris for about 300 people. He made a big commercial to me, saying that a Polish professor would lecture, even though I was still a doctor at the University of Lodz. It opened a lot of doors for me at the time.
From the first to the last grade I had only five from the Polish. I was a Polish philologist by passion and wanted to go to Polish studies. My favorite textbook of Polish literature was the textbook by Juliusz Kleiner. My friends even laughed that I could memorize it. It was a really beautiful textbook. Kleiner was, after all, a Jew. However, he didn’t write about Jewish literature, but about Polish literature in which he was completely in love. He also had Polish intellectual awareness. However, it should be remembered that among the 3.2 million Jews living in Poland, the Polonization of Jews affected minorities and, above all, concerned the Jewish intellectual elite. Jews in Poland, who didn’t feel Polish, constituted the vast majority. In Warsaw you could see them in Nalewki. They walked traditionally dressed and mostly didn’t know Polish at all. In Vilnius, the Jewish district was inhabited by Jews who had been deported from Russia, who had nothing to do with either the Polish culture or the Lithuanian culture. They were extremely tribal. Although compared to the number of all Jews living in Poland at that time, Jews assimilating to Polishness were relatively few, they did, however, release many eminent scholars, musicians and artists who made an incredible contribution to Polish culture. It was they who formed the basis of the "The Polish-Jewish Heritage" activity.
Are Jews among your friends from your youth?
Yes. I had five Jewish classmates from the gymnasium, with whom, a few months after the Germans occupied Warsaw, we were taking and wondering what to do next. The location of the Jews became more and more dangerous. By the way, I had already persuaded them to flee to the Soviet side. Four of them did just that. Only Zdzich Kozak remained. He alone wasn’t going to run away, because as he told me: "First of all, I have a Polish surname, secondly I don’t look like Jew, and thirdly I feel spiritually Polish”. That is why he stays. His parents sent him to the Polish kindergarten very early, and then to the Polish school, but nobody asked him whether he was Jewish, because nobody was interested in it. Then there was a whole lot of Russian refugees in Warsaw. and many people of different origins who stayed in Poland after 1918. Because his parents were non-practicing and didn’t tend to go to the synagogue, he grew up far from the Jewish community and pervaded Polishness, so Zdzisio was aware that he was a Jew, but because he grew up in the Polish environment all the time, he didn’t admit his Jewish roots. Zdzisio Kozak is an example that Polish culture was much more attractive to many Jews than Jewish culture. He was a battle boy, and he was more in line with ulan tradition than the Jewish tradition, consisting of sitting for hours for generations over smart books.
After Zdzichu decided not to leave Warsaw, I opened a window glass company and he worked for me. There was then a whole series of empty flats in Warsaw, because the mass of Warsaw inhabitants fled. First of all, people connected with the Polish government, who evacuated to Romania, escaped. It just happened that one of these people was an uncle of one of my colleagues. The best thing was that the friend who gave me the keys to Zdzich was a great activist of the Polish National Party. The boy is extremely fighty. Zdzichu worked for me for three months and during this time he lived in shared apartment. One day, however, he didn’t come to work. After a few days, worried, I decided to visit him and see if something bad happened to him. I met the janitor of the house that he had seen earlier, when I went to Zdzich. He told me then: "Sir, your friend meet a great tragedy. Your friend is dead". I asked how it happened. "Well, two Gestapo come to the flat on the first floor. They didn’t find anyone there, so they told me to bring the chairs they sat and waited for. Your friend was just coming back from work. He came into the stairwell and saw one of the Gestapo men, he quickly turned back, but they called him "halt" to stop. Of course he didn’t do them. He started to run away and he would probably have escaped them if he had not been hit by a bullet fired by one of the Gestapo agents" said the caretaker.
Another of my Jewish colleagues, whose mother was a dentist, once told me that although he sees anti-Jewish demonstrations and willingness to deport Jews from Poland to Madagascar on Polish streets, he culturally feels more of a Pole than a Jew. He didn’t deny, of course, that he was a Jew, but first of all he emphasized his Polishness.
I will, however, return to my four middle school friends who fled to the USSR. Their fates perfectly reflect the complexity and ambiguity of Polish-Jewish relations. Among them were two Weitzen brothers. One of them, Olek, managed to leave the Soviet Union together with the Polish Army formed by General Władysław Anders, of which he became an officer. He participated, among others, in the Italian campaign and in the Battle of Monte Cassino. He was awarded the Virtuti Militari for merits on the battlefield. After the war, he married an Italian aristocrat and lived in the Palazzo Regio (Royal Palace). Before the war started, as a junior high school student, Olek was secretly active in the Independent Socialist Youth Union, functioning at the Polish Socialist Party. After the war, this organization decided to organize an official congress of its pre-war members, and therefore sent him an invitation to his Italian address. Olek, however, didn’t accept the invitation from them and wrote back to them: "As long as the Judeo-Communism rules in Poland, I will not come to it". He was already full of Anders. The second of the Weitzen brothers failed to leave the Soviet Union with the Anders Army. So he joined the Polish People's Army and reached Warsaw as a colonel..
The third of my colleagues, Rysio Wajnsztok, as Olek Weitzen got into the Anders Army. He deserted it, however, when the Polish Army was already in Palestine. Anders looked at these Jewish desertions through his fingers. He understood that some Polish Jews were going to fight for the creation of their own state. In Israel, Wajnsztok made an amazing career. We have repeatedly wanted to invite him to Poland for the graduation of the 1939 matriculation yearly that took place every ten years. For a long time, however, we didn’t have any contact from him. When I worked in a bank, one day a teacher from the school where my daughter was came to me. After she knew that she was going to visit her family in Palestine, she would like to get more than $ 5 on this trip. So I asked the chairman of the bank asking her to get $ 100. I have very rarely made such applications, so the president has positively considered my request. After returning from Israel, this teacher came to me and said that apart from flowers she also received cordial greetings from my junior high school friend, General Wajnsztok.
It turns out that the cousin of this teacher was a civilian military worker. On the occasion of her arrival, he made a party to which he invited his friend, who turned out to be General Wajnsztok. When she started telling them at a certain point that while everyone was getting $ 5 for the trip, she, thanks to the director of Kieżun, received $ 100, General Wajnsztok knew at once that he was talking about his high school friend, Witek. Thanks to this situation, I already had his address. We invited Rysio to the congress of our matriculation class, which I am currently the only living representative. Unfortunately, it turned out that he wouldn’t be at the congress, as he had just traveled to Argentine to work on the Israeli-Argentine program to build a stronger atomic bomb.
My fourth colleague, Miecio Cygielsztrajch, changed his name to Cygielski and came from the USSR to Poland as a military doctor. He settled in Szczecin. He didn’t stay there too long, however, and he left for the United States. When we organized another graduate conference in our school building, he came to Poland with his daughter, who was born to him in the United States. It was extraordinary. He raised her in Polish culture. His daughter speaks perfectly Polish, like a native Polish woman.
You support the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace in Warsaw. Perhaps a good idea would be to return to the idea of building a Mausoleum of Jewish Fighters for Polish Independence in Warsaw, thus commemorating Jewish Kościuszko insurgents headed by Berek Joselewicz, Napoleonic soldiers and November insurgents headed by Józef Berkowicz and Stanisław Hernisz, January insurgents headed by Henryk Wohlem, soldiers of World War I and soldiers of the Polish Army fighting in the wars with Soviet Russia and soldiers fighting during the WW2 with Jerzy Kluge, Stanisław Aronson and Samuel Willenberg at the forefront? There were tens of thousands of soldiers like them. They all deserve the memory, honor and glory, due to Polish heroes. What do you think about it?
I absolutely supported your idea. This is undoubtedly important. One should properly celebrate the people mentioned by you, but also other Polish-Jewish heroes, such as, for example, a junior high school student in Warsaw, Michał Lande, who in 1861 took over the cross from the wounded monk and led the way in the first row of religious and patriotic demonstrations. It should also be remembered that about 300 Jewish officers died in Katyn. So I am totally for building such a mausoleum. It is worth building a Polish-Jewish heritage against the fear that appears in the Poles always with this type of activity and the legality of fears that we will be marginalized in some areas. Polish professors in the United States were afraid, for example, that if one Jew came to them to the university, he would immediately bring more. So I told them not to be afraid, but to compete with them. They answered me then that the Jews are very talented and it is difficult to keep up with them. We are very capable, after all. However, we don’t have an organizational sense. We're messy..
Polish players achieve their greatest successes playing in the German Bundesliga.
Yes, because it is there, ordnung muss sein. "
Professor Szewach Weiss once said at one of his lectures: "So what if several thousand Chinese people were born during these classes, if it is still around 25 percent all the Nobel laureates are Jews". He added that if it wasn’t for the WW2, Poland would have a Nobel Prize winner every year." Are Jews really so intelligent and above average talent?
Of course. I have lectured in a number of universities around the world and almost everywhere I made a list of people who are the most able. Everywhere it seemed to me that the most talented are the Jews, and then the Poles. As I was conducting a seminar lecture and there was an open discussion with the participation of students, it was almost always in the final polemic that a Jew with a Pole would stay. However, as far as Poles are concerned, it is worth making one observation. In the United States and Canada, there is no habit of being late for lectures. However, the only students who were late for them were Poles. It was a rule. If you had to give up some work on April 15, everyone gave up, and four of them only one gave on time, and three said: "Professor, only two weeks." The Jews were always extremely disciplined, crazy intelligent and hardworking. When I lectured in Canada, the grades were given to students: A, B, C,D. One of my students, a Jew, received an A + from me on the exam because he beat everyone. The next day after passing this exam, he called me his father and he says: Professor, I would like to thank you very much. My son liked you lectures very much. We would be very happy to meet you. I don’t have a son studying with you anymore, so could I invite you and my spouse to dinner for us?" I said that I had to communicate with my wife or she wasn’t busy sometimes. My wife told me that this could be a very interesting meeting and In fact, they were very elegant and well-to-do people, and the whole meeting was extremely interesting. At some point, this father asked me for a face-to-face conversation and being in private with me, he said: "Sir, I am a wholesaler I have fourteen stores in Montreal and in the United States, I also have two sons, one of whom will manage my company once, just the son whom you has known for the heir who will take over my heritage. Now, however, when he received such a great assessment from you I wonder if it is better it would be if he started to pursue a scientific career, and this younger son took care of the company. I have a cousin who is a professor at one of the Swiss universities, which gives me some opportunities to properly place my older son in the scientific world. However, I must learn from you if my son has a chance to make an extraordinary career in science. What do you think?" I told him that he was one of the most talented students I met and it would be wrong to use his talent for commercial work to the detriment of science. So I told him that in his place I would prepare a younger son to take over the company and I would send an elder to Switzerland to pursue a career in science. It's been about twelve years since then, I work at the UN In Africa, I suddenly get a letter from Switzerland that was addressed to the UN in New York. In this letter, my former student writes that he has just become a professor and is very grateful to me, because after my advice my father decided to let him continue his education, and he wasn’t willing to run business.
In one of the American universities I got a beautiful crystal owl, as a reward for the best grades awarded to me by students. I knew that my English wasn’t the best. So I asked students for coffee and I asked them why it happened. One of them replied to me: "You taught the theory of the organization. However, if someone was asking you for other issues, you were able to answer this question and present it on a historical scale, indicating when exactly this happened and under what circumstances it happened. You have a wide scale of awareness and knowledge, which is why we value you. Our American professors have very narrow specializations and don’t go beyond them". I understood what they meant when I was with professors there. When I came to the USA, they immediately asked me what I would be lecturing or planning, or organizing structures, or motivating or controlling them. I told them that everything, because each of these elements is just management. They didn’t believe me, because every professor is from something else. So if the question is from outside his plot, he spreads his hands helplessly and sends him to another professor. The rector of the University of Pittsburgh has asked me and my wife for his home. My wife is sitting next to his wife, and he boasts that the whole interior was designed by himself and would gladly show my wife.
When my wife came back from this tour, she smiled slightly at me and whispered that later she would tell me what would make her so amused. When there was some more freedom, she led me to the rector's office. I go to his books in the library, and here it turns out that it's just the backs of books. It was just a decoration. Since then, when we were invited somewhere, immediately after my wife played at the host's request Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, which greatly impressed her virtuosity, we always told the hosts that we want to make a cabinet in Warsaw and that's why we would like to see their office. Then we had the chance to check their libraries. Everything was similar. Instead of books, one big decoration. So I ask the rector finally how it actually is. Pittsburgh metropolitan area has about 2.5 million inhabitants. However, there is neither a philharmonic nor one theater, but there are imitations of books in professor's libraries. He told me that they had 120 cinemas and 50 TV channels. This is the United States. I can only say that the best economists thought that Poland, from which I came, lies in Asia. These are outstanding specialists, but in a specific specialty. And it was on this background that the Jewish intellectual elite easily broke out. Twenty-four American Nobel Prize winners are all Jews. They are an extremely capable nation with one of the longest intellectual traditions in the world.
Are their intellectual abilities now translated into a deliberate determination by them of the direction in which humanity should follow?
At the moment, Masonic lodges have less influence on social reality than they used to be. The fact that every now and then one meets one hundred or many of their members is still a form for influencing the world. I once had contact with a Jewish masonic lodge. One day when I was in Britain, a man came to me who said he was very interested in what I said in a lecture on praxeology. - Could you tell us what praxeology is for half an hour? - He asked. - We, you mean who? - since I said a question. - This is an independent professor environment. We meet together outside the school grounds and we discuss together - he explained. I agreed. They came for me and took me to the restaurant for dinner, during which I gave a lecture and answered their questions. When everyone left, the professor who invited me told me that they liked the lecture very much and that he was inviting me to the next meeting in a month. He added that the admission costs $50. So I wanted to know exactly what environment I am dealing with. It's an environment that is interested in the world he replied. - But what kind of environment? - I asked again. He finally explained that it was B'nai Brith's lodge. I have participated in many such meetings, during which I was very kindly received. When I came from Great Britain to Montreal, a friend came to me shortly after my arrival and invited me to the so-called Archimedes breakfast, where people with something interesting and wise to say meet. He told me that he would like to hear from me something about “Solidarity” ideas. He immediately added that he knew that during my stay in the UK I attended B'nai Brith's meetings. It is worth recalling that President Ignacy Mościcki in 1938 threw out the B'nai Brith from Poland. However, she returned to Poland during the presidency of Lech Kaczyński, who even sent his delegate to open it. Lech Kaczyński in some way approved of her actions.
Freemasonry played a major role in Burundi, where three Masonic advisers were once brought, leading to the fact that services were banned and all churches were liquidated. This, of course, led to revolutions as a result of which these advisers had to flee. Two escaped immediately, and the third managed to get to the villa I rented, protected by two dogs and two guards. He sat for a few days during which he explained his ideology to me. However, he didn’t allow me to convince himself that the desire to liquidate the Catholic Church in Burundi was pointless and wasn’t a humanistic activity. The activity I was observing was unacceptable. You can be an opponent of religion, but the Christian religion has cultural significance, and the most important thing that a nation can have is culture. He didn’t understand this, however. He was very afraid and asked me to use the right to drive up to the plane. So I got him a plane ticket and with a car with the UN flag I drove him not only to the airport but to the very door of the plane. Then there was the new president and Te Deum laudamus in the cathedral and the official invitation of John Paul II for the visit. The Pope raised unprecedented enthusiasm during the pilgrimage to Burundi. He was perfectly able to adapt to a given culture.
What in your opinion was the main reason for expelling Jews from Poland in 1968?
I don’t want to believe that the communists would be so anti-Semitic. The communist environment from education and practice couldn’t be anti-Semitic. This was a bit different and was mainly related to the case of the Egyptian-Israeli war. It was a purely political matter, based on hostility to Israel and Zionism. In connection with the Soviet instructions, it was believed that Jews were our enemies. It was the same with the Jewish doctors who were to conduct some underground activity in the USSR. Jews were also imprisoned here that they were acting against the principles of medical practice in relation to Stalin.
However, did the anti-Zionist campaign sometimes also have an anti-Semitic face, e.g. the partisan fraction?
Moczar was of Russian-Ukrainian descent and wanted to make a career in Polonism. Indeed, he was probably an anti-Semite, but all these games were born in 1968 in the Ministry of Security, where most of the directors were Jews. At that time, awarnes was that they were people of one nationality who used mutual connections and common ethnicity for promotion. This is what Poles were accused of in the West, who brought other Poles to work at universities. This aroused dissatisfaction among the professors there, who couldn’t always cooperate with Poles, because they felt that they were simply inferior to them. Then a wave of anti-Polishism arose among the Americans. He thinks that Poles want to take their jobs. I have the impression that this element played such a role in the secret service at the highest level. Polish communists could say that they were not promoted even though they were better because a Jew was promoted, who was supported by another Jew.
Director of the Jewish Historical Institute and author of the book “Judeo-Communism - historical interpretations” prof. Paweł Śpiewak, said during the debate “Polish-Jewish communists: remembering or forgetting?”, taking place in the Warsaw Uprising Museum as part of the “Warsaw Two Rising” series: "the scale of Jewish involvement in the Communist Party was comparable to the percentage of Poles, though the higher in the security structures, the more there were more Jews".
Yes it's true. One must realize that after the war the security apparatus and the management team were Jewish in a larger percentage. The inability to promote in the strength structures of Polish communists often gave rise to rebellion. The actions taken in the interwar period at Polish universities had similar sources of rebellion. The Jews living in pre-war Poland were in fact a huge problem for Poles. Poland was inhabited by over three million Jews. In the eastern part of Poland, the Jews didn’t speak Polish in the vast majority. It was a completely culturally separate group, which was also kept together. This caused anti-Semitic sentiments among Poles. The anti-Semitic environment was very strong at the Faculty of Law of the University of Warsaw. Polish students were aware that about 42 percent the lawyers were Jews, and practically speaking, when a Jew graduated, he got caught up in the office of another Jew very quickly. So he got a job at hand and started the practice. The Poles had some difficulties in this respect. They complained that they live in Poland, and Jewish lawyers distinguish Jewish law students because of their Jewish nationality. This practice was wrong and it became the source of anti-Jewish rebellion among parts of Polish youth.
Until the war, we were only treated by Jewish doctors. When I had visual disorder, my mother immediately found the best ophthalmologist, and it was known that the best doctors were Jews. They were distinguished by their intelligence, diligence and persistence. Before the war, about 40 percent doctors were of Jewish origin. On the Świętokrzyska Street in Warsaw, almost all the bookshops were Jewish. There is no doubt, then, that Poland was then on the path of intellectual mastery. This is a nation with incomparably longer intellectual tradition and pedigree than our nation.
Speaking of Jews communists, prof. Paweł Spiewak said on the debate I have already mentioned, that “the Jews looked for security in the communist or socialist communist society, but also in the hope of a classless and tolerant society. This earlier generation, the interwar period, went through a completely different socialization to power - rather within the framework of the apparatus, structures of government in the sectarian organization - focused on the elimination of minorities". What do you think about this?
At school, I had five Jewish friends and four of them were close leaders. They had the best grades. It was all, however, a strong left. Their leftistness was associated with the problem of some humiliation and a sense of being second-class. In the underground communist party, Jews constituted the majority. Through their experiences of some alienation from society, they were more susceptible to this ideology.
Have you ever encountered Jewish communists in the Security Office?
I knew the deputy minister of the Ministry of Public Security, Aleksander Wolski, who have Jewish origin. My cousin saved his life during the Warsaw Uprising. After the German attack against Żoliborz was resisted, the wounded were searched. When it seemed that all the wounded had already been found, they began to retreat, because the Germans started their attack again. My cousin suddenly saw a bobbing leg under the rubble. The wounded was quickly dug out and in this way Aleksander Wolski was saved. Then, for three months, he was in the hospital near my cousin who had his face shot. They became friends with each other very much. It later turned out that Wolski, who was saved by my cousin, became a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Public Security. When my cousin was a forester in the Tuchola forests, Wolski came to visit him with a terrible guard in connection with the independence guerrilla. I was there during one of these visits. Wolski then invited me for a walk in the garden and took a photo of me. He also asked me how I survived in a Russian camp in which 86 percent of prisoners died. Many years later, I was refused a passport to travel to London. The head of the passport office accepted complaints once a week, on Monday.
I came to him. He had my papers on his desk. He knew that I was sitting in a camp in the Soviet Union and in the labor camp of the Ministry of Public Security in Poland. At one point he opened my briefcase and noticed the picture Wolski had made to me years ago. Being with his friend, he didn’t forget that he was still at work. Then Wolski became the Polish ambassador in Belgium and arranged for my cousin's son - who saved his life - to study in Belgium. Aleksander Wolski was a high class European. On the other hand, when my mother found out that I was alive because a funeral service had already been done for me, she came to him through my cousin and he promised her that he would check my files in Krakow, because that's where I was arrested. After examining these files, he told my mother that he was sorry, but for people like me, there is no place in Poland. Then when I met with him, he told me that he didn’t remember saying that. He remarked, however, that "honestly, after all, you were indeed an active military of the Home Army, and this environment was dangerous for building socialism in Poland". When he retired in the 1980s, he came to Poland and took guests in his villa near Warsaw. He kept social contact with my cousin from Gdańsk, who always visited him whenever he was in Warsaw.
I have already told you how my cousin saved the Jewish communist. Now I will tell you how a certain Jewish communist saved my cousins, the Gieysztory family. They lived in Horodziej, a small town in today's Belarus, counting before the war a thousand inhabitants, of which nine hundred and fifty Jews. There was, however, a Polish school, Polish railways and Polish post office. The old Jews spoke only in Russian. When I came to a Jewish store, old Jewish begged me in Russian, so that I would wait a moment and call for his daughter. Jewish youth could already speak Polish. Since the haircut took a lot of time, before the war my aunt sent a horse to get a Jewish hairdresser and he cut all the household members. After finishing work, he was invited to dinner. He was treated well by them. One cold night in February 1940, a man came to their house through a high snowdrift and knocked on the bedroom window. My aunt woke up terrified. He looks into the dark window, and there is the Jewish hairdresser who was at the time the head of the Party Committee. He asked his aunt to open the window. When she opened, he hurried to convince her that she and her family would pack up and run away urgently, for at five o'clock they would take them all to Siberia. He gave her permission to buy a ticket and said that at two is a train to Bialystok. After they listened to his advice they quickly dressed and walked across the fields to the railway station, where they bought a train ticket to Białystok. From there, the smuggler led them across the border. When aunt later recalled this situation, she always said to not say bad to the Jews. On the other hand, it must be remembered that the Jews took part in the murders of Polish military settlers who fought against the Bolsheviks in the war in 1920. The Poles settled there because they received fifteen hectares along with the house for forty years. The Polish state wanted to polonize these areas, which is why Polish settlers were hated by local Jews. While there were two hectare farms. The Poles had a nice home, a horse, two, three cows, and also fifteen hectares. There was therefore a terrible envy towards the Poles. Among other things, the Jews and the Belarussians murdered all Poles there.
In the years 1961-1962, along with the trial of the German criminal, Adolf Eichmann, who was accused by Polish Jews from Lviv, the Prosecutor General of Israel, Gideon Hausner, in Israel, the attitude of Israel to the Holocaust began to slowly change. Earlier, Jews born in Palestine, Sabrow, called the Jews of the Jewish Holocaust disdainfully called "sabon" (soap), because they believed that they would go to their deaths without any fight like rams carried out for slaughter. Sabrows cut off in this way from the past and rejected what they believed was weak and unworthy of the vision of the new, strong and valiant Jew, who walk from the sea, proudly and bravely looks to the future. After the six-day war in 1967, cultivating the memory of the Holocaust began to be recognized as an important element in the construction of the Israeli civil religion and as one of the main elements of building the identity and national identification of secular Jews in the United States. The ideology of the Holocaust in some way revived Zionism and became one of its pillars. The process of changing the perception of the Holocaust by Jews overlapped with the games between the communists in Poland in 1968 and the associated anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish campaign that led to the departure of Poland not only of communists of Jewish origin, but also of many young people not associated with communism who were completely assimilated and felt just Polish. Their trip was received in the world, as a crown of evidence for the chronic and fierce anti-Semitism of Poles, and also as confirmation of the thesis that in countries like Poland, there is no future for Jews. Only Israel and the United States can provide Jews with security and survival. With time, most Jews began to treat these claims as a certainty. Among other things, that's why it is so difficult for us today to change the negative attitude of American Jews to Poland and Poles. Although, as you yourself mentioned, the campaign for Jews in 1968 resulted mainly from the struggle of the communist parties, the year 1968 strongly affected the Polish-Jewish relations and perception of Poland by the Jews.
Krzysztof Kłopotowski in the book entitled “The Jewish genius for Polish mind” wrote: "let us not ask for forgiveness for March 68. It was a game of communist factions imposed on the nation. Judeo-Communism received payment from her Polish pupils". However, one can’t remain indifferent to the fact that the events of that period against Poland and Poles have been used to this day. Well, during the debate on the withdrawal of the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from Jan T. Gross, the signatories of an open letter to President Andrzej Duda, who stood in his defense, stated that it was far inappropriate to treat this type of harassment of a man and a Pole who, by breaking the law, was deprived of 1969 citizenship (...) By repairing the 1969 harm, the citizenship of Jan Tomasz Gross was confirmed in 2009 not to punish and humiliate him now without a clear reason".
As you can see, the communist campaign against Jews in 1968 was used today to defend a person whose activity is difficult to justify in any other way. Jan T. Gross slanders Poles not only in his books, but also in the German press, in which he accuses the Poles that during the war they killed more Jews than Germans. Today we wouldn’t have problems with, “argumentum ad 1968 ", if we immediately separated ourselves from March 1968 by restoring the so-called Jews of March 1968 and at the same time sent a clear message to the world that the responsibility for this event wasn’t borne by Poles, but the communist power forced us by the Soviet occupant, the main victims of which were the Poles themselves. However, this didn’t happen then. Admittedly, "later Jews" were allowed to apply for the restoration of Polish citizenship, but this took place only several years after Poland regained sovereignty. In addition, it was carried out in a negative way for us, not to say harmful. For the cities to apologize to the "March Jews" only because they had to wait so long for them to be legally eligible to apply for the restoration of Polish citizenship, President Aleksander Kwaśniewski apologized to them for communist censorship of Jews in 1968.
Thus, wanting or not, he inscribed Poland and Poles in the world - which has been in force for over several decades - an unfavorable narrative according to which Jews from Poland were thrown out not by Polish communists, but simply by Poles. In this way, the opportunity to present to the world the real culprits of March 1968, which were the communists of Poland at the time, was wasted. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed anymore. One way to change the perception of the events of March 1968 in the world may be to "automatically" restore "citizens of March" Polish citizenship and apologize for the fact that Poland didn’t do so immediately after freeing from communist slavery. uch an action should then go hand in hand with a reminder to the world that the hunt for Jews in 1968 was the responsibility of the Soviet and Polish communists and the communist dictator, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who was one of the main patrons of anti-Semitic purges in the Polish People's Army, called by some PZPR activists "unjewing the army". Properly prepared in terms of political and marketing action, it could lead to a change in the world's dominant historical narrative on the subject and eventually translate the "Jewish assault in 1968" from a drawer bearing the inscription "Polish anti-Semitism" to a drawer with the inscription "communism." I think there may be a method in this madness, but even if it turns out that due to legal reasons the automatic restoration of Polish citizenship is impossible, the Polish state should take appropriate steps in the field of historical policy and broadly understood propaganda to present the world who really responded in 1968 for the anti-Semitic campaign, otherwise the subject will be constantly coming back and will be used against Poland and Poles. What do you think about this?
You are right, I would do it. It would be fully justified, of course. It would be a very important gesture. However, it should be remembered that for the most part, these people are already dead and their descendants have American, Canadian and Israeli citizenship. I don’t think so that some of them would like to come back to Poland.
However, I believe that restoring citizenship to them is a legitimate postulate, especially since it would help in communal settlement with communism. However, when talking about the events of 1968, you must not forget what your generation can no longer realize. Well, any possibility of leaving socialism to a capitalist country was desirable then. It was a big dream for almost every Pole. Everyone tried their best to leave. Two of my friends left Poland in 1968, claiming to be Jews, even though they didn’t have any Jewish ancestors. (laughs) They came to France with the name of people who were expelled from Poland for being Jews. Of course, they didn’t identify with the local Jewish community and even avoided it. However, they quickly got hooked and arranged very well.
People dreamed then to leave. There was a lot of instability at all levels of the state. Today I am on a high position, and tomorrow they will discover that I will say something and my career will end. I was a co-worker of the United States Information Agency. I represented her at the Polish Academy of Sciences and at the University of Warsaw. Every year, we brought about ten professors from Poland. I organized three Polish-American conferences, one of them in the United States. Dear God. At that time I couldn’t get away from people who asked me at every turn whether I wouldn’t help them sometimes. People were aware of the crazy difference in style and quality of life and the freedom enjoyed by people in the West. About 100,000 people left every year. Even the simplest jobs were brought to families. Three months were worked there and a thousand dollars were brought with them. A thousand dollars was then 120,000. zł. My professor's salary was 4,000 per month. zł. Jaruzelski was letting people go to Canada. There was even a special program, which consisted of receiving a Canadian government payment of two thousand dollars a month for a year.
Do you like Warsaw today?
Yes. Warsaw is today a genuinely European, big city. Of course, you can do a whole lot of things better. All my colleagues coming to Warsaw from Canada or from the United States, however, are delighted with her. They say it's a beautiful city.
Is it prettier than before the war?
Before the war Warsaw was a very specific city. I knew her well. In our family, it was customary to walk from Żoliborz to the Center on foot. My mother didn’t go by tram until 1989 and she went to visit her family from the Center to Żoliborz. Before the war, we overcame this route by going through Nalewki, where we had a Jewish tailor who was sewing a school uniform. He liked to talk to my mother who had traditions of the freedom movement. When she was still a young woman, she traveled from the Kingdom of Poland to Switzerland, where she was in the circles of Polish and Russian revolutionaries. My mother got into medicine and had to learn Latin during the year. In Russian schools, however, women were not taught Latin at the time, hence she was looking for a teacher for herself in the revolutionary community. She was told that there was one who studied law and certainly knew Latin. It was Włodzimierz Lenin. He gladly agreed to give her private lessons for a fee. My mother, however, told me that Lenin was neither nice nor sociable. He would take the lesson and go to read. At that time his wife, Nadieżda Krupska, invited her to tee and talk. Mom then became friends with Krupska.
Above your bed - just like over the bed of my grandfather, also a soldier of the Home Army - there is a picture of the Mother of God Ostrobramska, Queen of the Polish Crown - a Polish mother, but also a Jewish mother.
I was born in Central Lithuania. Yes, I have it in evidence. If I went to Lithuania today, I would get Lithuanian citizenship right away. As for Mary, a Polish and Jewish mother, there is no doubt that the base and origin of our Christian culture is Judaic. After all, Jews are the creators of our religion and culture. Jesus Christ was a Jew. All the apostles were Jews. Christianity is very deeply embedded in the Old Testament. We also accept part of the Jewish tradition. You work for several days, you celebrate one day.
Tekst jest traktowany jako integralna całość, można go cytować, ale zgodnie z prawem z podaniem źródła, tzn. autora książki i jej tytułu, osoby udzielające wywiadu, no i tłumacza amatora:). Tłumaczenie jest moje (z pomocą Google Translate), dlatego jest pewnie w nim dużo błędów:), pro publico bono, całkowicie bez wynagrodzenia.